I have been a studio recording artist since 1979, playing piano, organ, synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitar and electric bass. I will teach you the basics of studio recording, how to make the most out of your time in the studio, and let you in on the "insider secrets" that recording artists use to set them apart!
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!
About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allm
an to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!
My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.
Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.
I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.
>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
Billy May 17, 2016
Tim M. February 22, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano ·
In home Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.
Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
Learn how to select equipment and record your own music, creating professional-sounding results. Learn mic placement techniques, recording system setup, computer recording, multiple tracking, mixing, and mastering.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Management from the University of the Pacific. At Pacific, Aaron studied both jazz and classical music, and performed rock/gospel music on campus. He also completed graduate units through Liberty University.
He has directed instrumental music at Sunrise Community Church in Fair Oaks, CA, and directed the worship ministry at Escalon Covenant Church in Escalon, CA.
Aaron has been teaching private lessons since 2007, and has been teaching marching percussion at high schools since 2008. His students students have earned college music schola
rships, honor band seats, and professional performances, and the winter percussion ensemble he taught won first place at NCBA Championships.
Aaron has a broad range of musical experiences including performances in rock bands, R&B bands, drum corps, orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz bands and combos, and many many more. He loves sharing this diverse musical background with his students.
As a timpanist and percussionist, Aaron has been an extra member of the Stockton Chorale Society Orchestra. As a drummer, Aaron has worked professionally in the pit at Magic Circle Theater company in Roseville, CA. As a bass guitarist, Aaron performed professionally with Sacramento area jazz guitarist Greg Perkins. As a guitarist, Aaron has led worship and played on worship teams.
Aaron also taught middle school English and Computer Applications in Stockton, CA, and has worked as a private tutor and substitute teacher of all subjects, K-12.
*** Lesson Details *** More lesson times may be available. Please call if other arrangements are needed.**
-- The most important thing to know about lessons with Aaron is that you will receive a customized experience tailored to fit your musical desires and goals. He will work to understand your desires in music, and will use existing materials and generate new materials to challenge you and help them you reach your goals.
Some common goals Aaron has worked with are: - Preparing for an Audition - Starting a band with friends - Learning music for a school band/percussion ensemble - Personal enrichment/ better understanding of music - Exploring career possibilities - Improving technical ability
**** Aaron's guiding principles are: 1. Music is vitally useful and Important in society! Music brings joy to the multitude, and enhances expression for its artists.
2. Anyone can be a musician! Every student has unlimited potential, and it is Aaron's desire to unlock that potential, allowing my students to succeed in music.
3. Music should be fun! Too many instructors stick to the gritty business of method books. While this has its place, Aaron knows that it is only a small part of music. Music is meant to be fun, and Aaron makes the learning process fun and exciting at every stage by incorporating the interests of his students.
4. Hard work should always be rewarded! Aaron is always positive with his students and celebrates their accomplishments continually.
5. Music is what you make it! Whatever your desires and goals in music, Aaron will help you to achieve them. All musical aspirations are valid and valuable. Whether you want to be a rock star, a concert timpanist or just to make music with friends and family, he will equip you with the tools you need to get there.
6. Proper technique and musical knowledge empower musicians! Whatever your goals, starting with good technique and understanding the music you play will keep you from injury and promote your success.
7. Listening is vital to understanding music! Aaron's students listen to and analyze recordings of music they like to gain insight and understanding to how the music works. Aaron encourages his students to play along with recordings to work on the organic elements of music which cannot be gained from dry academic study. Guitarists will start with either an acoustic guitar or electric guitar & practice amp. They will also need a metronome, tuner, and notebook. They will learn to read music, tablature, and chord symbols, and they will learn to play melodies, riffs, and chords in the style(s) they prefer.
-- Bass Guitarists will start with a bass guitar and an amp. They will also need a metronome, tuner, and notebook. They will learn to read music and tablature and play bass grooves and solos in the style(s) they prefer. Drummers and percussionist will generally start with a pair of sticks and a practice pad, learning the basic techniques of drumming for the first 6-12 weeks, and will move on to drum set or percussion instruments as they demonstrate proper technique. They will also need a metronome and notebook. They will learn to read and play music in the style(s) they prefer.
*** Studio Equipment *** Drums/Percussion: Drum Sets, Practice Pad, Vibraphone, Percussion Instruments, Music Stands.
Guitar: Practice Amp, Music Stands.
Bass: Bass Guitar Amp, Music Stands.
Recording: Microphones, Mic Stands, Clips and Cables, M-Audio Multitrack Interface, GarageBand 11, Studio Accessories.
Mandy Holmes September 4, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Aaron has been a absolutely patient and informative piano teacher to my 8yr old. I saw my child progress well and learn many wonderful things. I will definitely use Aaron for any future music lessons for my child.
Star June 13, 2016
In home Verified Student
He's a great instructor.
Matt W. February 23, 2016
In studio Verified Student
We chose Aaron for his great resume at first, once we started the lesson we knew the one hour commute each way was well worth it. Aaron's knowledge and patients are top notch, And my sons enthusiasm for The drums has grown with each lesson. Thank you Aaron for all your hard work.
Learning basic Pro-tools skills can do any musician a world of good. Record your practices. Learn how to multi-track and create good quality demos of your songs or performances.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles but I've just recently relocated to the Bay Area. I am a Professional Musician/Songwriter/Vocalist teaching songwriting, voice, and performance technique as well as a combination thereof. I began singing at a very young age for anyone who would listen (so my parents tell me) and began taking music lessons shortly thereafter. I am now a USC graduate and have also studied music privately for over 25 years as well as at the esteemed Vocal Power Institute. I've professionally released several albums and I am grateful to have had my music featured/licensed by
Starbucks, NBC, The CW network, NikeWomen.com, and MTV. I've toured extensively playing to audiences across the country and have had the honor of sharing the stage with artists ranging from Conor Oberst, Inara George, Johnette Napolitano, Martha Wainwright, to Jackson Browne. I have experience teaching both adults and children, and enjoy teaching beginning as well as intermediate to advanced students. In addition to teaching privately, I have experience teaching children through my volunteer work with The Girls Rock Alliance, a non-profit organization that aims to teach young girls about self-confidence and self-expression through music education.
*** Lesson Details *** I am easy-going, friendly and I believe that developing a great student/teacher rapport is the key to making the most out of the time we spend together. The curriculum I utilize is specifically designed to meet the student's individual needs. Initially we'll spend time assessing where you are and where you'd like to be. Most importantly, we'll set goals and create a lesson plan that will allow you to attain them. We'll work on basic techniques (or intermediate to advanced depending on skill level), for example - breath support, vowel placement, posture, relaxation, the fundamentals of song structure and music theory. We'll also work on the psychology of performance and eliminating any unwanted tension that may arise. We'll choose songs to work on that you'll enjoy singing, or analyze the songs you love in order to discover and/or improve upon your own songwriting abilities.
*** Studio Equipment *** Front music studio area w/ guitars, computer with protools, keyboard, microphone, pa system, and seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide a small keyboard and/or guitar
*** Specialties *** My main musical styles that I perform and teach are Pop, Rock, Folk, and Americana/Country. I specialize in creating a lesson plan that suits the needs of each individual student.
Evelynne L. January 7, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Connected well with my 9 year old daughter. Strong musical and teaching skills and a pleasure to work with. Run don't walk to see Arrica!
Richard M. October 1, 2015
In studio Verified Student
First lesson very comfortable, relaxed yet structured, getting to know each others personality, musical abilities.
Take home exercises.
Looking forward to the next lesson.
Julie B. September 10, 2015
Music Performance ·
Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but needed some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!
As the creator and producer of San Diego IndieFest and Say It Records, I have a unique understanding of the industry, and love to share that with my students.
It's paramount to me that each student's lesson be customized to her / his specific goals and needs. Whether those are for personal enrichment or for professional aspirations, your lesson will be personalized according to what's important to you.
I LOVE to teach, and appreciate my wee ones just as much as my elders...those who consider themselves "tone deaf" as much as my advanced students. As far as Special Needs go - I feel we *ALL* have special needs....every child and every adult! ;)
Hello Students / Parents!
I specialize in providing a fun, inspiring and safe space for each student to reach their goals - whether that be for the novice singer whose been wrongfully told they shouldn't sing, the more experienced singer looking to do more with their music, or the budding songwriter, actor or speaker looking to develop the talent and drive they feel within them.
I always remember the inspiration and patience I received from my best teachers, so I strive to provide exactly that to my own students. I sing and teach most vocal styles, with the exception of opera and screamo
, and utilize my studio to create a supportive, empowering experience singing, writing and recording. I absolutely love to teach both children and adults and look forward to learning how to best support each one of my students in their individual path toward realizing their potential.
Here's a bit about my background and musical experience:
Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (Theatre/Voice) from United States International University Graduated Valedictorian Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts Graduated Valedictorian Workshops and studying with Bill Doyle, Roy Mote, Andrew Barnicle, Jack Tygett, Leanne Summers, among others.
"After seeing Danielle, I was impressed with her intensity as a performer. Her ability to get behind a lyric was stunning, she lives every line. As an artistic performer, I've yet to see better." -Tony Ferguson / Interscope Records: No Doubt, Bush, Fisher
My original band, Danielle and The Masses, has been recording and performing live since 2001. We are endorsed by Ani Difranco, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bruce Hornsby Band, and have shared the stage with artists as Jamie Foxx, CAKE, Metric, En Vogue, David Byrne, Berlin, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, Jonatha Brooke, Beth Hart, Semi Precious Weapons and more.
I have written and performed music and voice over for Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, VH1, various TV shows and independent documentaries, Eveoke Dance Theatre, among others, as well as having recorded eight professional CDs of various styles on various record labels.
For over ten years, my record / production company, Say It Records has been producing socially conscious music events throughout San Diego and Southern California that promote independent music, film, art, community and human rights. I also co-own Durga Sound, a teaching and production studio, with producer Alicia Champion, as well as San Diego IndieFest, a powerful community event which promotes and supports music, film, art and civic engagement.
I have a great time utilizing my contacts in the industry to help my students get work/ press / entrance into the schools of their choice, etc. For example, I'm happy to report that just last year we were able to book eight musicians on GLEE, as well as lots more in other capacities including using their music in commercials and film and helping them get cast in local theatre and accepted into arts-centered schools.
*** Lesson Details *** I start on the first lesson by becoming clear about what the new student's goals and desires are from there, we start developing technique to achieve those goals along with having fun right away doing what they came for - singing, writing, voice over, acting or using a combination of these things be it for professional purposes or personal fulfillment. Every lesson is personally customized to meet the specific goals of each student. As a teacher, I'm encouraging and fun, passionate and positive. While I'm definitely not "strict", I do appreciate focus and drive. However, I often work with people who have special needs and are working on developing those very things. I'm especially good at helping people through progress plateaus, roadblocks, stage fright, loss/ stress. Using music as a means of release and healing - for both kids and adults - is something I do a lot of and am very comfortable with.
As far as technique is concerned, I focus on utilizing posture, correct breathing and developing relaxed, strong support, so that the muscles are developed properly and without stress, enabling the student's voice to constantly grow while also steering clear of the injury that can accompany the straining that often happens when singing without proper technique.
I strongly encourage students to record their lessons on a mobile device so they can practice easily on their own, and so they eventually have a record of how far they've grown. We mostly use tracks to develop repertoire, prepare for auditioning and performances, and to have fun singing the music that excites each student the most.
*** Studio Equipment *** Apple Mac Pro Quad Core running OS 10.8.3 Avid Pro Tools 10 HDX Propellor Reason 4.0 UA 2-610 Microphone Pre-amp UA LA-610 Microphone Pre-amp and Compressor UA Teletronix LA2A Compressor/ Limiter Behringer ADA 8000 more...
*** Specialties *** Using music, writing and voice as a means of expressing yourself, growing as a performance artist, coping in challenging times, as well as a means of going professional and earning income are all areas I specialize in. Utilizing proper technique and learning how to sing / speak safely is also an area I focus on a great deal.
Learning precisely what each student wants is the key factor in my decision on how to achieve their goals. For example, using Speech Level Singing is definitely entrenched in my teaching, but I may not highlight it as much for those who want a more classical sound.
I definitely excel with the following: first timers, very young kids, students working through stage fright, artists looking to develop their own original project, those seeking growth in their process of writing / recording / performing, those who are interested in using music and / or writing as therapy as well as with amateurs who've always wanted to do something musical but who think they are "too old" or too "untalented/short/tall/ fill in the blank" to try. I believe we all have something to say with our lives - finding the voice within you can be an incredibly powerful and transformative experience!
Kim Noriega January 15, 2016
In studio Verified Student
If there were ten stars available I'd rate Danielle 10 stars! She's a natural teacher--knowledgeable, patient, inspiring and clearly cares deeply about helping people be their best. Plus, she's got a great sense of humor and adds a touch playfulness to each lesson. And of course, she can sing like nobody's business!
Jocelyn October 18, 2015
I came to Danielle as someone who loved to sing as a child and had some natural ability but had kind of 'lost my voice' somewhere along my way into my 20s. Singing had become a heavy, loaded, personal thing that I felt scared of or very shy about. Danielle created a safe space and provided excellent guidance for me to get reacquainted with my own sound, my own voice, and it was a very powerful experience. Thank you Danielle!
Kara R. October 4, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Danielle is one of the most connected, in tune, emotionally intelligent individuals I've ever met. A truly gifted teacher and artist, she is the whole package! Absolutely priceless experience, would highly recommend these lessons to anyone looking to find his/her voice.
Want to record your music, learn about mic placement, learn pro tools or logic pro, and get your mix sounding right? Come to my home studio or I can visit yours and learn all about the basic and advanced techniques of recording and mixing.
My name is Matthew, and I teach many people of different ages academic topics from arithmetic to algebra 2/trigonometry, science, reading/grammar, as well as all kinds of music and instruments!
I hold a Masters of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Santa Cruz.
Musically, I specialize in drum set and percussion, piano, voice, and guitar instruction (4 and 6 string) woodwinds, brass, and violin family strings. I have been teaching in Walnut Creek at my home studio/office for 10 years, worked with local schools such
as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.
Some basic pedagogical ideas:
I make sure each student learns the necessary techniques, rhythms as well as reading and performing skills that each player must posses on their instrument or voice to properly play the instrument. Alongside this crucial, ever-lasting quest to have a good sound and play the repertoire of the instrument I teach many other aspects of music that most students indulge in as they progress. These including but not limited to ear-training, improvising, composition, theory, music history and appreciation, transcribing, arranging and performing popular music, basic tracking and recording/computer compositions, as well as basic singing and drumming. Each student has different goals and interests that draw them toward certain aspects of music. My goal is to supplement the basic music training while offering guidance in more complex areas of music that bring excitement and enjoyment to learning. I work with each student to find not only what aspects of music they are interested in but also what styles and groups they enjoy and aspire to play or just enjoying listening or singing along. Balancing all of this during a 30-60 min lesson and then during your practice time in the week can be tough, so I work with each student to set priorities and goals based on their interest and skill and follow through with them!
Here are a few of my BASIC POLICIES; please read so you can know if we will be a good fit. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask, but I rarely make exceptions!
-I only accept students who take weekly lessons
-I only accept students (usually) who have already started reading
-All students and parents must be on a fairly flexible schedule and reply to phone calls or texts on the day of lessons. With 30+ concurrent students and families, schedules are constantly changing to accommodate each other. If it works for everyone to help another student out by switching, then I will request that of you, but I ALWAYS GUARANTEE YOUR SCHEDULED LESSON TIME.
-I always guarantee your full lesson time. Driving from my home studio and house to house around the East Bay during the after school/work hours does come with traffic delays, so I ask that each student (unless previously noted) keeps 10-15 minutes before and after their lesson free in case of an unexpected delay or cancellation.
- I require AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCED NOTICE FOR RESCHEDULES. If you need to reschedule then I prefer knowing a week in advance. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 72 HOURS I DO NOT GUARANTEE A MAKEUP SPOT.
-I rent beginner instruments so that you can get started while I help you shop for an instrument. This includes weekly checkups, maintenance, changing strings, cleaning, and covers any basic damage done to the instrument (for example, broken bridges, broken bow hair, pegs, tuning parts, replacing strings, minor dents on brass). This does not cover non-reusable parts (strings, reeds, drum heads, cork/slide/valve oil, rosin) as well as damage to the body of the instrument or theft. I charge $45 dollars a month flat for the instrument and service.
If you are at all interested for yourself or your child please don't hesitate to call and ask questions.
Have a great day!
Sam Maldonado January 11, 2016
In studio Verified Student
great time at my first lesson
Denise S. October 31, 2015
In studio Verified Student
My daughter took lessons with Matthew for 5 months and we are severely disappointed. We originally switched because he was constantly changing the days/times of our lesson to accommodate his schedule or that of new clients, which is a terrible way to do business. However, after having one lesson with a new teacher, we realized that my daughter never learned the basics of viola playing - how to hold the instrument properly, how tightly the bow should be strung, the names of the parts of the instrument, etc. He also rented us an instrument that didn't tune properly at twice the cost of what local music stores were charging. She also was not properly measured for that instrument, which I learned was standard. Since I am not musically trained, I went on faith that she was being taught properly. After the first lesson with a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, my daughter was in tears over all the things she didn't know. I feel like all those basics should have been covered in the first month of instruction. In addition, his bio states that he has been teaching for 10 years. At his current age, that would mean he started teaching at the age of 13 or 14. I'm very disappointed in our experience with both this instructor and with Take Lessons for not vetting their instructors properly.
Adriana September 25, 2015
In home Verified Student
It was excellent. He has the patience and the knowledge. I do recommend him.
If you've ever stepped on stage to perform, you may not have thought much about the microphone you're about to use. But its history is actually pretty interesting, as music recording equipment has developed drastically since the first condenser microphone came on the market. These changes have made a big impact on the music industry as a whole, and, for better or worse, are here to stay.
Without outside amplification, the loudest musician wins every time. But when you int …
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...
If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and Im guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27:
Did you hear it? Th …